by Dawn Halliday, paranormal (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 1-60504-252-8
I really like the cover art for this story. We have a couple passionately kissing while this mysterious and sullen-looking fellow looks on from the window. The whole thing comes off as simultaneously spooky and elegant to look at. The fellow in this story doesn't have to press his face against the window and stare longingly at the action, though, because Dawn Halliday's Twice The Night turns out to be a ménage à trois vampire romance.
Let's get acquainted with the cast of characters. Duncan O'Leary and Cole Thompson are friends as well as colleagues at an advertising firm. Duncan is married to Tamara, whom he loves. What do you know, Cole is also infatuated with Tamara, too, although he takes care to never let his friend or Tamara know of this. Duncan knows, though, and he lets Cole know about this, making Cole break out in nervous sweat. Also in this setting, vampires co-exist with humans. Shortly after the story opens, Tammy and Duncan are making their way home from a ball game that they watched with Cole when they encounter a vampire gang who proceed to make a merry meal out of those two. Duncan dies, or so everyone believes, while Tammy survives only because she is rushed to the hospital and is given medical care in the nick of time.
Cut to four years later, when Cole has taken advantage of his friend being the Happy Meal of a bunch of malnourished fangfaces to get into Tammy's good graces, if you know what I mean. Tammy is going, wow, sex with Cole is freaking fantastic because sex with Duncan was vanilla while Cole offers her the whole 32 flavors of yummy yum-yum. Or something to that effect. To demonstrate her newfound happiness, she touches some hot guy in the ubiquitous hot night club that is compulsory in every story featuring a vampire or a werewolf so that her boyfriend can get the jolly of all the jollies. Only to then freak out when she realizes that the guy she is playing with is a vampire, sigh. Doesn't that silly woman know that every cute guy in a hot club is either a vampire or a werewolf in such stories?
Well, unfortunately for them, Duncan isn't dead yet. He's now a vampire and he's back in their lives, no doubt to demonstrate that he can do that Baskin-Robbins thing as well as Duncan. Not that there is any suspense whether Tammy will take two at once, of course, because anyone reading this story can see that she's faster than a car driven by Mario Andretti. After Duncan's death, she has become this hot party girl that horny boys wish desperately to have at their eighteenth birthday parties.
You know what really annoys me about this story? Both men negotiate conjugal rights - Duncan wants to boink her at night while Cole gets to boink her by day and Cole also wants her to indulge in his threesome fantasies - and Tammy only sits by the sideline and watches as the two braw men pimp her out to each other as if she has no say in the matter. If I were her, I would be on my feet, telling them, "Hold on a minute, assholes, do you think I am going to lie down there and let you guys do me all day and night long? You try servicing men non-stop all day long and tell me whether it is a fun experience! Do you think I have Anita Blake's magically elastic vagina or something? Drop dead!" right before kneeing both men in the groin. Both men are gracious enough to only push themselves on her when she is ready to take them both, of course, but I feel nonetheless uneasy with the fact that that the two men in this story are the ones pushing her into the threesome arrangement. Tammy consents to be shared by the two men because she loves them both equally, but I will always wonder whether her "love" is some kind of justification on her part to make palatable the fact that the two men in her life are treating her like a sex toy to share and share alike.
Twice The Night creeps me out, frankly. I'd suggest that this one is better off read by fans of alpha males that overwhelm their heroines completely because the way the heroine is portrayed in this story. As for me, I just cannot get into this fantasy so Twice The Night turns out to be really not my thing, sorry.
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